A true idol in Brazil and considered by many to be the greatest footballer of all time, Pelé was also considered by some to be…the king of ego. A little throwback to his most emblematic statements.
Died Thursday with his relatives at the age of 82 following cancer, Edson Arantes do Nascimento, his real name, has an exceptional record and remains to this day the only player crowned world champion three times. Although he did a lot of work for good causes after his career, Pelé was also very full of himself, as some statements prove. “Records are made to be broken, but it will be difficult to beat mine. People ask me all the time when the new Pelé will be born. Never ! My father and my mother closed the factory”had for example entrusted the idol of Brazilian football about a possible successor. “One thing people have forgotten is that I was born with a gift for football. It’s something you can’t judge”, he declared during his lifetime or: “There are many musicians, but only one Beethoven”.
A inspiration eo amor marcaram a jornada de Rei Pelé, que faleceu no dia de hoje.
Amor, amor e amor, para semper.
Inspiration and love marked the journey of King Pelé, who peacefully passed away today.
Love, love and love, forever. pic.twitter.com/CP9syIdL3i
— Pele (@Pele) December 29, 2022
The legendary comparison with Christ…and Coca Cola
The ego’s golden palm perhaps goes to this sentence uttered to sum up his career. “Wherever you go, there are three icons known to everyone: Jesus Christ, Pelé and Coca-Cola”, had confided Pelé, whose first quality was not modesty. The former number 10 of the Seleçao did not hesitate to send messages from time to time. “In the United States, Elvis Presley and Martin Luther King have very fine museums in their honor. But in Brazil, there is no Pelé museum. I think it’s something abnormal”he confided a few years before the inauguration of a museum to his glory in 2014 in Santos.
Comparisons with other legends
Often compared, never equaled. That’s what some will say about other football stars since the sport’s inception. A feeling that the main interested party readily shared. “Zlatan Ibrahimović is a great player. With Cristiano Ronaldo, they are vying for the title of best striker. There is also Messi. It’s really a very good generation. But until no player has done what Pelé did, winning three World Cups, scoring 1283 goals and winning as many titles, Pelé remains the best”also told Pelé in an interview before Neymar was presented as his worthy successor at the start of his career. “It is impossible that Neymar is the new King. Neymar is an excellent player, but it’s impossible for him to replace me”.
When it comes to Lionel Messi, Pele also didn’t care about comparisons. “When he has scored 1,283 goals and won three World Cups, then we can talk. Messi is a great player at Barcelona, but when he plays with Argentina he doesn’t have the same success”he confided before the Albiceleste won the Copa America in 2021 and the World Cup in 2022. No one has really escaped his more or less harsh criticism. “Ronaldinho is a bigger player than me… by 3 cm”, he liked to joke. Let’s end with this last statement.“Pele does not die. Pelé will never die. Pelé will live forever”. In a way, it’s hard not to prove him wrong…